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Waste No More™

Environment, Health and Safety

manufacturing worker holding an orange helmet | VRI Lean Performance

Lean Six Sigma and Continuous Improvement in Environment, Health and Safety (EHS)

Your Challenge

One of the most important concerns when running a business today is maintaining a clean Environment, Health and Safety record. An unsafe workplace is dangerous for workers and bad for the bottom line. Onsite accidents and injuries (or worse) not only hurt productivity and employee morale but can also damage or even destroy a company’s reputation.

No matter the industry or sector, an unsafe work environment frequently has consequences; oftentimes they are expensive, sometimes tragic. In addition to costing seven crew members their lives, the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster cost the nation $3.2 billion to investigate the cause of the accident. More recently in 2010, BP incurred a total of $60 billion in fines and penalties for the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history after a massive explosion killed 11 workers on their Deepwater Horizon drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana.

Federal law entitles employees to a workplace free of health and safety hazards. To keep workers safe, companies must abide by Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules and regulations. A company must comply with these regulations or risk legal and financial repercussions should an accident occur onsite or in its facility.

Our Solution

VRI employs proven Lean Six Sigma methodologies to help companies prevent workplace accidents by identifying where they might occur in their processes. Identifying these vulnerabilities before an accident occurs is the most practical and cost-effective way to reduce risk while increasing productivity in EHS departments across an organization.

Lean Six Sigma protocols provide strategies and solutions to help a business meet compliance standards and improve environmental, health, and safety processes to keep workers safe while saving time and money.

Our highly-trained consultants at VRI, via Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques, focus on identifying and eliminating waste within a process. Consequently, some of the biggest wastes and hazards in EHS include:


Many organizations must comply with Environmental Protection Agency regulations to reduce lead exposure from hazardous substances at their facilities. Lean Six Sigma helps identify ways to reduce lead exposure and streamline processes to make compliance easier.

Exposure to Toxic Substances

To ensure that no workers, visitors, or surrounding communities are exposed to hazardous substances or materials, companies need a thorough understanding of what is happening onsite and the ability to keep track of related processes. Lean Six Sigma will help EHS teams create processes that are not only less hazardous but will reduce exposure.

Cuts or Burns

Working with heavy equipment or sharp objects can lead to cuts, burns, or worse yet, amputations. Lean Six Sigma protocols encourage problem-solving so that workers can access available resources quickly and easily to reduce their exposure to accidents and injuries.

Unsafe Facilities

Whether it’s a cluttered workspace, exposed wiring, or a slippery floor, workers are more at risk for accidents when their immediate surroundings are outdated, chaotic, or unsafe. Lean Six Sigma methodologies can guide environmental teams to create better, more secure workspaces to ensure employee safety.

Improper Maintenance

When organizations properly maintain their equipment and facilities, they experience less downtime and fewer equipment failures, leading to reduced costs and increased profitability. Adopting a Lean Six Sigma approach helps EHS teams create smarter and more efficient maintenance practices.

Unsafe Procedures

Many jobs require employees to follow specific procedures when they are onsite. Having a clear understanding of what actions are necessary in the event of an emergency will not only help reduce risks but, more importantly, save lives. Lean Six Sigma can identify problem areas so EHS teams can create safer and more efficient procedures for their workers.

Environmental Spills

With an increased focus on clean and renewable energy sources like solar and wind, workers have become more vigilant, leading them to encounter more cracks in the system, such as spills or leaks of toxic substances. Lean Six Sigma can help prevent these dangerous mishaps by creating safer processes for employees to follow.

Environmental Remediation

When a spill or accident that involves a hazardous substance(s) occurs, it’s critical to follow the proper protocols for environmental remediation. Lean Six Sigma helps teams create more efficient processes to meet compliance standards, manage containment, and clean up spills faster.


Many facilities deal with flammable substances, making fires a big concern. Lean Six Sigma helps EHS teams design safer workplaces by identifying potential hazards, crafting strategies to prevent fire outbreaks, and creating better procedures for employees to follow should a fire occur.


From transporting chemicals onsite to managing deliveries, sound logistics are essential for keeping workers safe. A Lean Six Sigma approach creates safer, more efficient workflows for employees to follow, giving them a better understanding of the process while preventing worker accidents and injuries.

Lean Six Sigma and Environment, Health and Safety Make a Perfect Match

Lean Six Sigma’s success relies on highly trained individuals from all departments working together. Employees from finance, marketing, communications, and other departments will need high-quality training alongside EHS professionals. When different departments work together and are equally supportive of Lean Six Sigma initiatives, everybody wins because everyone understands and accepts their organization’s overarching goals.

Lean Six Sigma saves lives because it keeps workers safe while providing better services to the surrounding community. With an emphasis on identifying and eliminating waste within a process, Lean Six Sigma is a highly effective method for diminishing risk and creating a safer work environment, reducing accidents and downtime while simultaneously boosting productivity and, ultimately, an organization’s profitability.

Interested in learning how to make your workplace safer with Lean Six Sigma?

To get started today, contact us HERE now to schedule your free 20-minute consultation (a $500 value).